Bumdra (Monastery) Trek

Trekking duration: 2 days

Bumdra Trek is a shortest 2 days trekking in Bhutan, starting from Sangchekhor Monastery and ending at the base of the Tiger’s Nest. It provides a great view of the Paro valley and is romantic in the sense that hikers can soak in the gorgeous sunsets over the mountains of Haa. It also provides for an interesting cliff-face pilgrimage site and one can look at all the chapels above Taktshang Monastery, not to forget the spectacular view it offers of the Tiger’s Nest Monastery. For the adventurous, the trail can also double as an excursion to a sky burial site.

The camping accommodation on Bumdra trek is the most luxurious in Bhutan but to get to the camping site is an uphill battle on the first day. The second day, however, you’ll be walking downhill. Please note that this trek requires one to be in decent shape to enjoy it.

Detailed Itinerary for Bumdra Trek:

Bumdra Trek-Rinping-DzongDay 01. Arrive Paro (Altitude 2280 m) (By Druk Air flight):

Your Guide from Yak Holidays Int’l will receive you at the airport and drive you the short distance to the hotel.

After lunch, visit Ta Dzong (built in1656 and renovated in 1968), an ancient watchtower, which now houses the National Museum. Below the museum is the Paro Rimpung Dzong (literally meaning “Heap of Jewels”, built in 1646 by Shabdrung Ngawang Namgyal, the centre of civil and religious authority in this valley. A short walk takes you to the base of the dzong and across a traditional cantilevered bridge.

In the evening, visit to a Bhutanese farm house to see a typical Bhutanese way of life. Dinner and over night in Hotel.

Day 02. Trek to Bumdra Monastery:

After breakfast, drive to Sang Choekor Buddhist College in the Paro valley (2,800). We walk up hill for 2 hours. We walk past Chhoe Tse Lhakhang and we came near the Bumdra Monastery (Cave of Thousand Prayers).

After lunch, we can visit the monastery or climb a peak nearby at around 4000 meter. We return to the camp. Dinner and overnight in camp.

Duration: 3–4 hours to camp, optional 2–3 hours return trek to peak, Difficulty: Moderate

3-Nights-4-Days-Bhutan-TourDay 03. Return hike from Bumdra Monastery via Taktsang Monastery (Tiger’s Nest) – Thimphu (2320 m) (Distance: 54 km, 1 hr drive):

After breakfast, we return from Bumdra via the gate of Taktsang Monastery. Legend has it that Guru Padmasambhava, the tantric mystic who brought Buddhism to Bhutan, flew here on the back of a flying tiger, Dorji Drolo, said to be his favourite consort. We descend down and reach the base of the hill where our vehicles will pick us up and drive to Thimphu.

After lunch, drive to the ruins of the Drukgyal Dzong which is under construction/ renovation, up the valley built in 1647 by the great Shabdrung Ngawang Namgyal. Explore the ramparts and on a clear day experience an unforgettable view of Mt. Jhomolhari (7,314 m).

On the way back, visit Kichu Lhakhang, built in 659 A.D by the Tibetan king Srongsen Gampo.

  • Kichu Lhakhang is one of Bhutan’s oldest monasteries built by the Tibetan King Srongtsen Gampo in 659 AD. King Srongsen Gampo married a Chinese princess, Wenchen in 641. He decided to build 108 Temples in a single day to pin the Ogress to the earth forever and, at the same time, convert the Tibetan people to Buddhism.

On the way, visit Tamchog Monastery built by Thangthong Gyalpo (Popularly known as Lama Chazampa, which literally means, the Iron Bridge builder) in the 15th century.

  • Thang Thong Gyalpo (1385 – 1464) was a wonder working saint from Tibet who came to Bhutan in 1433 looking for Iron Ore. He built 108 bridges across Tibet and Bhutan, out of which 8 were built in Bhutan. His only surviving bridge is in Duksum (Tashi Yangtse in Eastern Bhutan).

Dinner and overnight in Hotel.

Duration: 5 – 7 hours, Difficulty: Moderate.

Day 04. Thimphu Sightseeing (Altitude 2320 m):

The day begins with a visit to the National Memorial Chorten (1974) built in honour of our late King Jigme Dorji Wangchuk and the Dupthop Lhakhang one of the few surviving nunneries in Bhutan. We then visit the National Library, stocked with ancient Buddhist manuscripts, and the Painting School where traditional art is still kept alive through instructions in the art of painting Thangkas (sacred Buddhist religious scrolls).

After lunch, hike to Cheri Monastery. Other highlights include a visit to the Tashichho Dzong, seat of the national government and the Central Monastic Body, including the summer residence of the Je Khenpo (Chief Abbot of Bhutan) and finally visit the Handicrafts Emporium followed by shopping for souvenirs in the shops of Thimphu. Dinner and overnight in Hotel.

Punakha-Dzong-in-PunakhaDay 05. Thimphu – Punakha: (Altitude 1310 m) (72 Km, 3 hours drive).

After breakfast, drive to Punakha via Dochula pass. If the weather is clear, we stop for a while at Dochula pass to view Higher Himalayas. On the way, visit Chime Lhakhang, which was built by Lama Drukpa Kuenley. He subdued the demons with his “Magical Thunder bolt”. The Temple is also known as “the Temple of Fertility”.

– Lama Drukpa Kuenley (1455 – 1529) was one of the Bhutan’s Favourite Saints who was born in Tibet, trained at Ralung Monastery and was a contemporary and a disciple of Pema Lingpa. He Travelled throughout Bhutan and Tibet as a “Neljorpa” (Yogi) using songs, humour and outrageous behavior to dramatise his teachings of Salvation through sex.

After lunch, visit Punakha Dzong:

  • Built in 1637 by Shabdrung Ngawang Namgyal and is situated between Pho Chu (Male river) and Mo Chu (Female river). For many years until the time of the second king, it served as the seat of the Government. Punakha is still the winter residence of Je-Khenpo, the chief Abbot of Bhutan and King Jigme Dorji Wangchuk convened the First National Assembly here in 1952.

In the evening, walk the Punakha Suspension Bridge.

  • Perched above the rapid Pho Chhu River, the Punakha Suspension Bridge is the longest suspension bridge in Bhutan, spanning between 160-180meters. Draped with prayer flags, the bridge connects the town of Punakha and the spectacular Punakha Dzong. The locals mainly use it as an entry to the Dzong.

Dinner and overnight in Hotel.

Day 06. Punakha – Thimphu (76 kms.):

After breakfast, hike to Khamsung Yulley Namgyal Choling Monastery built by her majesty the queen Ashi Tshering Yangdon Wangchuck. The monastery houses paintings belonging to Nyingmapa Traditions.

Then drive to Wangdiphodrang. Enroute sightseeing in the valley of Wangdiphodrang includes:

  • Visit to Wangdiphodrang Dzong (from outside) built in 1638(razed by fire in 2012). Legend relates that as the people were searching for the site of the Dzong; four ravens were seen flying away in four directions. This was considered auspicious sign, representing the spread of religion to the four points of the compass. The Dzong is situated at the confluence of Mo Chu and Tang Chu rivers.

After lunch, visit to the tallest Statue of Buddha, Sangaygang view point, Takin preserve center, Changangkha Monastery and nunnery. Dinner and overnight in Hotel Pedling.

Day 07. Thimphu – Paro (Departure):

After breakfast, drive to the airport and farewell.